Gabions are cages, cylinders, or boxes filled with soil or sand that are used in civil engineering, road building, and military applications. For erosion control caged riprap is used. For dams or foundation construction, cylindrical metal structures are used.
In civil engineering a gabion wall is a retaining wall made of rectangular containers (baskets) fabricated of thick galvanized wire, which are filled with stone and stacked on one another, usually in tiers that step back with the slope rather than vertically.
Gabion baskets have some advantages over loose riprap because of their modularity and ability to be stacked in various shapes; they are also resistant to being washed away by moving water. Gabions also have advantages over more rigid structures because they can conform to ground movement, dissipate energy from flowing water, and drain freely.